Biotin is a vitamin with lots of power. This is a water soluble vitamin, which is also popularly known as vitamin H or vitamin B7. This is a vitamin that is necessary for the metabolism of proteins and fats and for proper immune functions. Biotin is a co-enzyme which aids in metabolism of fatty acids, leucine and carbohydrates. Most importantly, it has a stellar role to play in gluconeogenesis (a metabolic pathway for non carbohydrate carbon substrates like glycogenic acids, that helps in glucose generation). Also, it helps in the citric acid cycle of the aerobic respiration, and aids in transfer of carbon dioxide during the biochemical processes.
Biotin is good for the health of the hair, nails and skin. It also regulates blood sugar levels. Last but not the least, biotin maintains energy supply in the nerves.
Hair & Nail Growth Benefits
Biotin may have an important role in the growth and maintenance of your hair and nails. If you suffer from a Biotin deficiency, you will typically experience hair loss and brittle nails, and taking supplements of this vitamin may help to halt this process. In many cases, taking a Biotin supplement may even help you to stimulate new hair and nail growth. Even though hair loss is rarely caused by a Biotin deficiency in your body, this problem can quite often be helped if you take Biotin supplements regularly. Even if you have normal Biotin levels, you may choose to take Biotin as a supplement in the hopes of capitalizing on its ability to stimulate rapid hair and nail growth.
If you have dry skin, then besides the numerous conditions like dehydration and use of faulty cosmetics that may be behind this, it could be that you do not have adequate amount of biotin in your body. In fact, nowadays, you will find many skin care products that contain biotin. And besides treating dry skin, it is seen that biotin also aids in treating skin conditions like cradle cap, which is seen in infants who have greasy scalps. Biotin may also help in treating seborrheic dermatitis.
Biotin Deficiency Symptoms
- Biotin deficiency can lead to skin inflammations.
- Biotin deficiency in a person can cause stress and depression in him.
- A person with a biotin deficiency experiences pain in his muscles.
- Biotin deficiency produces abnormal skin sensations such as tingling, burning, numbness or prickling in the feet and the hands.
- Due to a biotin deficiency, hair loss or thinning of hair in a person, might be experienced.
- Biotin deficiency makes the skin dry and scaly. There might be sores in and around the mouth and nose.
- Biotin deficiency may induce loss of appetite in a person or it can give a person the feeling of nausea.
- Biotin deficiency may cause heart irregularities in some people too.
- Besides these symptoms, some biotin deficiency diseases which a person might suffer from are dermatitis, anemia, psoriasis, eczema and seborrhea.
Food Sources of Biotin
Swiss chard, carrots, romaine lettuce, mushrooms, raisins and tomatoes are excellent food sources of biotin. Almonds, cauliflower, cabbage, onions, cucumber and bananas, grapefruit are also very good sources of biotin. In addition, biotin can also be found in chocolate, beans, kidney legumes, molasses, nuts, strawberries, raspberries, oats, walnuts and whole grains.
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